How did you find the fair this year?
We've been coming to the fair for the last eight years. Obviously, it is a lot smaller than it used to be but it seems to be gaining more strength which is great because it seems the market is opening back up.
How do you analyze Argentina's gambling industry under the administration of Mauricio Macri who won last year's presidential runoff?
There's been a lot more people moving forward with projects because the importation has been closed for the last few years; they have stuff that they need to upgrade but we are still sticking with operators here, in servicing them and helping them out in everything we can.
But it seems to better, yes. Still hard but better. I see Argentina as a very stable, strong market. I see it as potentially the best market in Latin America, I know one time it was.
What about Brazil? The Congress there is currently analyzing two projects to legalize gambling.
We have been watching Brazil very closely, speaking with a lot of people, meeting with a lot of people who have plans to start operations there. We are just waiting to see what happens with the laws and we will continue to follow it up obviously because we want to be able to work there as well.
That market could explode. They have a great market. A lot of Brazilians go outside Brazil to go to casinos”
It would be great if Brazil opened the market as long as they regulate it properly. They have opportunity to really organize it so that it works out the best for everyone and get rid of all the underground activities to deal with it legitimately. It would be great for the government and for the economy.
So you think it is better to regulate the gambling activity rather than fighting illegal gambling all the time?
I think it is because there are people who want to be legitimate and to invest in estructure. For someone just to have a couple of street operations it really hurts the people that invest the hard work, time, the money into building these beautiful places and trying to stay legitimate.
So, yes, I think that when the government steps in it is great because they can regulate what taxes they get and put it back into the economy.
Why is it better to buy Grandview products? What do you have to offer?
What we have to offer, especially for new casinos operators, smaller facilities that don't have big budgets, we offer a machine that is fully reconditioned almost like in new condition, we go through it in a 100 percent, we test everything, for a fraction of the cost of the new machine.
We actually started seeing that a lot of the customers that we started dealing with five, six, seven years ago are now working directly with manufacturers so it is a way for new people to get into the market as well as for the new people who use their budget more wisely and spend more money on better machines and take other areas of the casino and spend less money to have a product that is still great but a couple of years old, just not the latest and greatest.
Do you think casino operators should adapt their strategy to attract more customers?
Technology changes. The younger geneation is a technology generation when it comes to phones and social networking.
Casinos have to keep innovative and keep a step ahead in order to attract the young”
What is your strategy? How do you adapt to the new generation of customers?
We do the best we can to keep up the social networking. We take videos of a lot of our machines to keep people interested in what is going on, we show them what a jackpot looks like, we reach out people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It is kind of the way to get instant information and keep your finger on the polls of what is going on.
What can you tell us about the elections in the United States? Do you think the administration of Donald Trump will affect the casino industry?
I think they have much bigger problems to look at than the casino industry. I am staying positive and hoping that it takes the US in a direction that it will move forward.
The US right now is starting to get really divided and I hope that the new president, Mr. Trump, looks at it as an opportunity to make our country progress because it seems that for a while the country was really still. We were going the same direction and the same direction. Hopefully, this brings a fresh outlook and takes us in a new direction that is benefitial for the country.
Are you planning to expand into other businesses?
We are looking at different things. We are looking more to offer the clients more than a one-stop-shop.
We are looking at back office systems and partnering up with different companies in other countries to offer financing and renting”
We are always trying to progress and change the business to make it easier for customers to work with us.
Are you planning to visit other shows and fairs in the upcoming months?
We try to go to all the fairs. We go to ICE, Vashe, SAGSE (the Caribbean show), SAGSE Panama. We are looking at Africa possibly for next year because we know there is an evolving market there as well.
At the last G2E, we did not actually take a booth. G2E is always a great show, it attracts people from all over the world. It is probably, besides Macau, one of the main shows in the world. I think that it is great because it brings together a lot of the manufacturers and they release the new things that are coming out. This year we just decided to attend the show rather than have a booth.